Monday, September 27, 2010

Free Renter's Insurance? Yup.

Renter's insurance is one of those things that are affordable and important. So why is it that we don't have renter's insurance? I have one word for you: "procrastination". I have no excuse whatsoever. Last weekend I finally got around to fixing this problem - OK, it was more or less a happy accident, but the end result is great. We now have renter's insurance with token coverage for our belongings, and respectable coverage against liability. How did it happen?

Recently I got a new Hyundai. Yes, one of those that's being recalled and yes, I know. I still love that car. I added it to our insurance coverage the day I got it, but it occurred to me that I forgot to remove the old car, because at the time it was still parked outside waiting to be picked up by Public Radio (where all donated good cars go). I finally remembered and called AAA to make the policy change. While the agent was revising my premiums she was reciting the various discounts I was entitled to receive: good driver, multiple cars etc. Then she told me that if I had renter's insurance with AAA my car insurance premiums would be discounted another 20%. Procrastinating is one thing, but when you actually have the agent on the phone, not following up on an obvious opening would be negligence.

So I followed up. I answered some basic questions and 5 minutes later I was the proud owner of a renter's insurance policy. The total cost? $173 a year for the coverage I selected. Now here's the punchline: the discount we got on the car insurance premium because we now also have renter's insurance with AAA is $300.

Long story short, AAA is paying us $127 a year for the privilege of insuring our home. How incredible is that? Of course, I could have done this years ago and I would have saved about a thousand dollars by now, but that's the price of procrastinating.

At the end of the call I asked the agent whether there was something else she wanted to give me for free. She laughed.

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Revanche said...

I used to insure with AAA about 7 years ago but they were insanely expensive for me - now you're luring me back with these stories of FREE FREE and DISCOUNT ;)

Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience with State Farm. Renter's insurance cost me $100 a year but saved me $75 on my car insurance. I thought about how much it would cost to replace my clothes in case of a fire and decided it was worth spending $25 (the cost of one shirt) to be covered. Renter's insurance is one of the best ideas people have never heard of.